The Routt County Bridges Initiative, started by Lift-Up of Routt County, Routt County United Way, and the Department of Human Services, is a program aimed at helping low-income families become self-sufficient. It brings a fresh approach to addressing poverty by engaging human services organizations and other community stakeholders in a common effort of support to offer new opportunities to families who are feeling trapped and dependent on our systems.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Routt County residents living at or below 200% of the federal poverty line is 4,543 — a figure that represents 20.6% of the population. About 5.7% of families with children are below the federal poverty line, and 23.9% female-headed households fall below the federal poverty line.
These numbers are what drive our commitment to fighting poverty in Routt County. And those figures are why we are so eager to congratulate the first graduating class of the “Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ by World” course.
The 10-week, 20-session class is taught by local community facilitators who understand the unique barriers and challenges that poverty causes for Routt County families. The class’s 12 students, many of whom are in generational poverty, learned how to assess their financial situations and developed personal plans to achieve their goals, including moving their families out of poverty and creating asset development through sustainable wage jobs, education, and training, as well as learning more about the community network of resources and support available in Northwest Colorado.
What’s more is that many of the members of the first graduating class will go on to teach the next round of classes and help others using their shared experiences and unique perspectives.
In the news
- Steamboat Today, June 23, 2012: Routt County families receive tools to help escape poverty